China’s human rights

12 May

China’s economic growth and development as a “super rich” country, has drawn light to its lacking of human rights. Its perseverance as an authoritarian one-party state still imposes sharp curbs on freedom of expression, association, and religion. China rejects press freedom, with the majority of the press serving as propaganda for the countries positive attributes, paying little attention to negative aspects such as their environmental effect. Furthermore, China rejects human rights defenders, imposing severe punishment. There is an estimated 250-500 protests per day, ranging from 10 to 10,000 people, which are unauthorised by the one-party state, and can often occur in violence. Furthermore, domestic and international scrutiny of its human rights is deemed an attempt to impose “western values” upon its country, and is therefore ignored. The censorship of the internet has also been an uprising concern. Google has threatened to leave China due to their censorship leaving the population in the dark, degrading their human rights.

Chinas judicial system is also under significant amounts of scrutiny. China still imposes the death penalty, with 1,718 people executed in 2008. Furthermore, they are also known to hold unfair trial, with lack of access to lawyers and confessions through torture. “Re-education through labour” is also used for petty criminals, often without trial. These camps are not too dissimilar from world war camps in terms of their purpose, and are also known to have considerably harsh conditions.

The ongoing struggle with Tibet is also a clear violation of many other nations’ human rights. In 2008, China closed off Tibet to the outside world, shutting media and internet. Furthermore, it tried to deflect the attention, and turn it to show the Tibetans had turned against Chinese people living in Tibet.  The use of excessive force to mute Tibetan issues, rather than dialogue has aided Tibetan support from the outside world, but with limits of outside involvement, there are limits to the positives in human rights that can occur, not only in Tibet, but also throughout mainland China.



2 Responses to “China’s human rights”

  1. gw2g11 May 12, 2013 at 5:58 pm #

    China’s lack of human rights is definitely a big cause of concern. This is a letter to the new president Xi Jinping written on behalf of the Human Rights Watch at the beginning of this year. It urges the National People’s Congress to take immediate legislative action to 1) abolish re-education through labor; 2) abolish the hukou household registration system; 3) adopt a comprehensive domestic violence law; and 4) ratify the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

  2. jpt1g11 May 13, 2013 at 4:27 pm #

    It’s hard to see where or when or even if China intends to reform its record of human rights abuse. While most of the attention has been focused on how the methods are radically different to Western values, it is precisely because of this that the focus has been on them.

    Perhaps the Chinese government under Mao initially saw political outspokenness as an attempt to undermine the country’s rise to power. The 100 Flowers Campaign which as supposed to highlight the way forward for society, but was then used against those that spoke out. Arguably the same school of thought has carried through to the present day despite China’s continual rise.

    The gap may have closed between China and the other Western nations in terms of economics, but there still remains a huge divide in terms of legality. As mentioned, the fact Google is heavily censored represents just how far away from the other Western countries China is, in terms of press regulation and freedom. Western countries must however be mindful when arguing for reform in China that the government over there responds and operates on a different level of politics. What are established traditions of law over here are not present in some Asian countries.

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